Enter Shikari – ‘The Mindsweep’

By Adam Rosario

The fourth album from St Albans’ fearsome four-piece Enter Shikari might be their most divisive album in their 12 year lifespan. Some of the casual fans aren’t in agreement with the political stance the band put out on their songs, though this is what makes them stand out. Having always defied the genres of music in any way they see fit, Shikari take about their fourth effort with aplomb.

Opening with ‘The Appeal & The Mindsweep 1’, Rou Reynolds is on top form. From the spoken word intro, rallying the listening audience to be the change in the world, to full on bellows of “I am a mindsweeper…. Focus on me!” it becomes apparent that Reynolds has refocused his vocal talents into a more well-rounded mould. Throughout the album this becomes more apparent, his screams on ‘There’s A Price On Your Head’ to his delicate croon on ‘Dear Future Historians’ and the faux-rapping style of delivery on ‘Anaesthetist’. This is easily the best vocal appearance he’s put forward.

Everything that makes Shikari… well, Shikari, is on point throughout. The powerful drum work of Rob Rolfe, to the chugging bass play from Chris Batten, to the delicious riffs from Rory C, all underpinned by Reynolds talents on synthesisers & keys. The riffs are heavier, the electronics nastier. This all comes to a head on the second song ‘The One True Colour’, which definitely has radio appeal nature despite everything that’s happening at once. As stated, politics take front and centre on this album. ‘Anaesthetist’ speaks about the privatisation of the NHS whilst ‘The Bank Of England’ deals with the problems that money brings to the world.

The rallying cries on ‘Never Let Go Of The Microscope’ and lead single ‘The Last Garrison’ are some of the finest the band have written, and were written for crowds to scream back at the band. Bonus track ‘Slipshod’ proves again that Shikari are untouchable when it comes to writing two minute bangers and is sure to be a live favourite.

Overall, if you don’t get Shikari by now, you never will. If you were a fan of the first album and dropped off, this is the album to bring you back in. Enter Shikari have written the first great album of 2015 and deserve to be a hell of a lot bigger than they are already. Always a favourite at festivals, this could be the album that rockets them up the bill and it’s the very least that they deserve. Fantastic work by one of Britain’s hardest working bands.

ADAM ROSARIO

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